Friday, September 04, 2009

Preserving India's Knowledge

Almost three years ago, I posted about my discovery of the Bangalore-based FRLHT – Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions - and remember vividly that I was quite excited about it at that time. Now, three years of evolution or rotting (depending on the way you look at it ;-)) later, I followed the Twitter profile of a person (Mani) who happened to retweet one of my tweets (this is a distraction, nevertheless, in case you are curious what my retweeted tweet was about and are lazy to click on the link, let me tell you. It was about a KM product company – Trampoline Systems, if you want the name as well - that is adopting a crowdfunding approach to finance its future) and found something there that rang a huge bell in my mind and brought back memories of my spotting the FRLHT office bus. When I glanced through Mani’s recent Twitter updates, I was lucky enough to spot one of his tweets about the existence of an organization called CIKS - Centre of Indian Knowledge Systems! One look at the organization’s home page and I was mighty impressed by their projects, vision and achievements. Not surprisingly, as I glanced through the Trustees page, I realized that the key person behind FRLHT is one of the members of CIKS as well. That bell in my mind was spot on! Ding Dong! :-)

CIKS seems to focus on preserving India’s agricultural knowledge amongst other things and speaks of some inspiring and admirable project areas to help India’s rural population through well-designed programs. Most of the projects revolve around organic farming methods but I guess the scope and potential for expanding this concept is immense! Not many weeks ago, I was having a conversation with two of my friends about the possibility of using KM in non-profit ventures and for social benefits and we’d touched upon areas like Education, Agriculture, Health-Care and Infrastructure. CIKS is a brilliant example of what can be done in the agricultural arena. More so because of the rich agricultural history that India has. Even though the focus at present seems to be only on preserving conventional agricultural knowledge, it would be quite easy to extend it to facilitate sharing of knowledge across farmers, providing them with the platforms and practices to network, collaborate and innovate! If proven to be a success here, I can’t think of any reason why it can’t be replicated in the Education and Health-Care sectors as well. Speaking of Education, I am reminded of India’s traditional and inspiring Gurukul system.

There is an urge to come back and look into this at length and expand on the ideas…..but what do you think?


sukumar said...

Nice post Nimmy. CIKS is a good discovery. Shall keep a watch on them.

Nimmy said...

Thank you for leaving a comment, Sukumar! :-) Would be interested to know your future observations/thoughts as well!

Sugar man said...

hi,What job do u do?A techie,scientist or other.......this concept organic farming is great to talk about but hard to implement! because India's urgent need is to feed its population,Agricultural land in this country is saturated.Now since more and more land is being grabbed for industrialization, very little is left for agriculture.If this scenario continues there will be bitter and violent competition industry Vs Agriculture.The only solution is growing more food in the existing land,by using Genetically Modified crops(GM).Framers are reluctant to use organic farming because,earlier farmers used to get the manure for cheap,now the demand has crossed supply ,the prices of manure have shot up.More over the average Indian farmer is expecting early gains.The only solution is to use well regulated disease resistant,drought resistant GM crops.

Nimmy said...

Sugar Man,

Thanks for the comment. I am a knowledge management professional. CIKS interests me as its objective is to preserve traditional Indian knowledge and use it in today's world.

Your comment makes me realize things I was not aware of. Thanks for that. It is always nice to observe something from multiple angles and perspectives! But isn't GM against the grain of nature? - may sound silly but I needed to ask you this! :-) But yes, I completely understand what you're referring to when you say we need to feed millions/the average farmer expects plenty and early etc!